tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX May 16, 2011 2:00am-3:00am PDT
>> chris: i'm chris wallace. the latest on the republican race for president. next on "fox news sunday." former governor mike huckabee gives his announcement of his presidential plans. >> all the factors say go, but my heart says no. >> chris: and congressman ron paul makes it official. he's running for president again. we'll ask him about his controversial libertarian stand on the size and scope of government and american foreign policy. huckabee and paul, only on "fox news sunday." then the president pushes immigration reform. and the need to raise the debt limit.
we'll have a fair and balanced debate between two senate leaders. illinois democrat dick durbin and arizona republican jon kyl. plus, the g.o.p. presidential race heats up, as candidates get in and deal with possible problems. we'll ask our sunday panel to sort out the fast-changing field. all right now on "fox news sunday." and hello again, from fox news in washington. the republican race for president became a little clearer last night, as former governor mike huckabee announced he is not running. on friday, congressman ron paul said he is. today, we continue our series of interviews with g.o.p. contenders "2012: one on one." we begin with a man who made big news by staying out of the race. mike huckabee. who joins us from new york. governor, welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you, chris. great to be here. >> chris: you had a good chance to win the republican
nomination. the fact that you have done nothing to promote your candidacy and you were either first or second in all the polls, didn't you want to be president? >> absolutely, chris. and i think that i would have made a fine president. but it really came down for me to a very personal, a very intimate and as i explained last night in the announcement, a spiritual decision. you look at the possibilities, i don't think i'll have a better chance but i don't rule anything out for the long-term future. but i somehow believe deep within me, it wasn't the right time and it wasn't to be. whether it was a lack of sort of detailed preparation, it's not going to happen this time. >> chris: i'm a little curious when you say "spiritual decision." i know you are a man of great faith. but are you saying that you didn't have the fire in your belly to go this time? >> i think sometimes people mistake fire in the belly for too much pepperoni pizza the
night before. they make a great speech and people come up and tell them, "you could be president." the next thing you know, they're running, not because they ought to or have any shot at doing it but because they have a handful of people that tell them they are looking at the next president. for me, it was a little more intraspeculative than that. sometimes people ask me does god speak to me in an audible voice? the truth is, no. it's a lot louder than that. but i do believe for those of us who are believers, there is a sense of peace. i'll put it this way, chris. last night, i laid my head on the pillow and had a very good night's sleep. i was at peace with the decision. and am today. >> chris: will you endorse a candidate for president? >> not immediately. frankly, my feelings and my whole emotions are still a little raw from the process, because up until just a few days ago, chris, i honestly i thought i would be in it. and more and more the signs were pointing that way. the objections were moved out of the way, and i could see a
pathway to getting the money that i never thought perhaps i could. and, you know, things began to unfold. it was almost as if the more that all of the external things began to materialize, the less the internal things began to crystallize for me. so, i need to kind of process my own feelings. there is some great candidates. most of them are very dear friends of mine. that would have made it a little difficult in the primary, because i would have found it hard to challenge some of them in some maybe significant way personally. there may be a point in which i endorse, but right now i'll see how the race unfolds and listen carefully to how they develop their message. >> chris: well, since you are staying at fox, i'll ask you to do your job as a political analyst. you're getting out of the race leaves a big hole, especially in iowa and especially among social conservatives. who do you think fills that void? who do you think benefits most from your staying out of the
race? >> i think there are a number of people who probably maybe jump for joy last night. i don't know. but i think there are a number of people who are similar to me in terms of point of view. rick santorum, for example. strong social conservative, but also strong fiscal and i think defense conservative, and foreign policy conservative as well. tim pawlenty, another person. newt gingrich. michele bachmann. i think all of these folks, very clearly might benefit from it. sarah palin, should she decide to get in. you know, i think people are awaiting her decision like they were mine. but those are some folks immediately, because of their strong positions on issues like life and traditional marriage, as well as fiscal conservativism. the truth is, most fiscal -- in fact, all social conservatives i know are also fiscal conservatives. not necessarily the other way around. >> chris: you didn't mention mitt romney.
>> no, but let me tell you something. i've got a wonderful voice mail from mitt romney last night, which i thought was gracious on his part. you know, there has been a lot of talk of mitt romney and me. we don't socialize together in close personal ways but i'll make it clear today, if mitt romney is the nominee for our party, i will support him. i believe that mitt romney would be better president of the united states than barack obama on any day. whether he is my first choice, i will support him if he is our nominee. and he very well may be. >> chris: now, immediately after your statement last night, donald trump suddenly appears. it was kind of funny. but could you support him for president? >> i'm going to support the republican nominee. i'm a republican. unless a person is way out there and is not clear on issues that to me are non-negotiable like the sankty the/, look i -- sanctity of
life. donald trump believes we're getting shanghaied by china, which i agree with. insight here, donald trump takes two versions of the sort of end of the show. one that i was running and one that i wasn't. and donald trump did not know which one would be used. nor did my executive producer, nor did my staff right up until the moment of the show when i finally of course had to tell them. >> chris: well, that's interesting. good they ran the right tape. governor huckabee, we are going to miss you on the campaign trail. but i'm delighted you will remain our colleague at fox news. thank you, governor. >> chris, it's a pleasure. look forward to being with you again. >> chris: our next guest has joined the republican race for president. he's also written a new book. "liberty defined" in which he sets out his controversial views on the role of the federal government. congressman ron paul, welcome to "fox news sunday." >> thank you. nice to be here. >> chris: you are a member of the house financial services committee. i have to ask you first about the stunning arrest of the
head of the i.m.f., dominique strauss kahn for alleged sexual assault in a hotel room in new york. dragged off an airplane yesterday. your reaction, sir? >> i think it's a bit ironic, because the i.m.f. is not my friend. the i.m.f. is a threat to us, because now that we have a financial crisis here and the dollar is threatened, others besides myself, i'd like to go to a solid currency and others want to go to world currency and use the i.m.f. these are the people who are running the i.mf. and we want to turn over world finances and money supply to them? it's interesting that we have that kind of an individual. that should awaken everybody in the fact they should look into the i.m.f. and find out why we shouldn't be sacrificing more sovereignty to organization like that and individuals like he was. >> chris: you are being taken, i think it's fair to say, more seriously by the media time.
frankly, including me. because your issues, limiting the size and scope of government, adhering to constitutional principles, are center stage for the republican party this time around. but, do you really believe that you are equipped and ready to be president? if you were elected, what is the first thing you'd do? >> i would say nobody is perfect. i don't know all the answers. i have don't want to run people's lives and run the world and run the economy, so my qualifications are a little bit different. but compared to others, i would say i'm pretty well equipped. i've had a fair amount of experience. i've been in the military. i've been in the military five years. that gives me a little bit of experience. i have would say i'm pretty well equipped, but to brag that i can run things, i don't do that. that's not what a president is supposed to do. a president is supposed to guarantee and work for the protection of liberty and allow people to take care of their problems. >> chris: let's talk about it. this gets to the heart of your view about the role, but also the limits of government. the flooding of the mississippi has caused
terrible destruction in the heartland of america. but you said the other day that the government should play no role in bailing out people who live in hurricane zones or flood zones. let's watch. >> if it's too dangerous, why dump the responsibility on the taxpayer? it doesn't make economic sense. it doesn't make good moral sense. i have doesn't make -- it doesn't make constitutional sense. >> chris: question: president paul would tell the folks they're on their own? >> the president isn't a dictator but you work for certain goals. principle of government is moral hazard because people do what they should do. i opposed flood insurance since i've been in congress for 30 years, since 1976. i have a coastal district so i don't support fema. i get more complaints about fema than i get support. of course, there is a program -- there are a lot of programs i'd do away with, but the meantime i'd work to
manage them responsibly. i have introduceed legislation to make social security responsible. though they're not technically proper. fema is a problem. you brought up the subject of the mississippi. fema is more or less in charge. their decision because of government levees, because of the flood and no natural result and taking care of this flood, they have a decision to make. dime the mississippi and flood this city or the farmers. this wouldn't happen in a society that didn't expect the government to solve our problems but to expect the government and people who aren't benefiting to pay for me to live on the beach and get my house blown down is not morally correct and it's not in the constitution if that's who we're supposed to be doing. >> chris: i want to drill down on this. critics say that is the problem with your libertarian views. and they say it extends to your belief -- we discussed it in the south carolina
debate -- that heroin and even prostitution should be legal if states decide to allow it. michael gersan the chief speech writer for george w. bush wrote this, this week -- "it's social darwinism, arrogance of the strong, contempt for the vulnerable and suffering." >> i have no idea what he is talking about. it makes no sense. >> chris: he's basically saying -- this is what he is trying to say. the government has a role to enforce social norms and to protect people. >> if you accept that, they can accept everything you do with your life, everything you do. that justifies the economic intervention, that justifies the intervention in freedom of speech and subject interference on the religious value. but to take my philosophy of freedom and the constitution, property rights and contract and turn it in to a cliche and say oh, we're legalizing marijuana, that is so grossly
distorting my views. i want to legalize freedom of choice. i want to enforce states' rights. i have don't like prohibition. prohibition of alcohol was horrible. states control this as one thing. we had 150 years where heroin and cocaine were -- weren't legal. if you regulate the values you regulate home schooling and private schooling. you justify all the regulations. if you are for freedom, the whole idea we can't be responsible -- you remember the reaction that oh, we're safe and secure and smart, because we need the government to tell us what to do. but history shows that individual choice, most people make good choices. the big important here is as a physician and one that studied this issue very well, drug usage and drug addiction should be a disease like we treat alcoholism. what we have done to these people in filling our prisons with nonviolent crimes, that whole thing is being reassessed and i think the politicians and the pundits
are way behind the people on this issue. >> chris: you talk a lot about the constitution. you say social security, medicare, medicaid, are all unconstitutional. >> technically they are. >> chris: why? why? >> there is no authority. article 1, section 8 doesn't say i can set up insurance program for people. what part of the constitution -- it's the ones using the general welfare. >> i don't know that i'm a liberal but put it up on the screen. that is the point. article i, section 8 of the constitution. "the congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the united states." doesn't social security come under. >> absolutely -- >> chris: -- promoting the general welfare? >> absolutely not. >> chris: why not? >> maybe sound currency is general welfare, maybe markets, maybe judicial system, maybe a national defense, but this is specific welfare. this justifies the whole welfare state. the military industrial
complex, the welfare to foreigners, the welfare state that imprisons our people and impoverishes our people and gives us our recession. why would you have article i, section 8 and why would you have the amendment number 9 and 10? that means there is no reason for article i, number 10 if you believe that? revenue clause? that is such an extreme liberal view point that has been mistaught in our schools for so long. that's what we have to reverse, that very notion you're presenting. >> chris: congressman, it's not just a liberal view. it's the decision of the supreme court in 1937 when they said that social security was constitutional under article i, section 8 of the constitution. >> the constitution and the court said slavery was legal, too. we had to reverse that. so, i tell you. just because a court in '37 went very liberal on us and expanded the role of government, no, i think the
original intent is not a bad idea. limitation of government power. if we aren't clear on this, we are going to get into a mess. our government is going to get very big and we'll have a very big deficit and have a financial crisis. it's this thinking that is leading to us the very problem we're facing today. >> chris: you caused a stir this week when you told an iowa radio station that president obama was wrong, wrong to order a secret raid to get bin laden without telling the pakistani government first. let's listen. >> i don't think it was necessary, no. no. >> wasn't necessary to do? >> it was absolutely not necessary. i think respect for the rule of law and world law, international law. >> chris: you really believe that we could have trusted -- let me just ask the question. you really believe we could have trusted the pakistanis not to warn bin laden? >> not on today's circumstance is the big problem. but you distorted that. you said it was wrong. i never used used the word "wro"
i said it could have been done differently and it should have been. how about -- >> chris: you said it was not necessary, it was absolutely not necessary. then you talked about the rule of law. >> okay, but i'm not saying it's wrong. i'm just saying there is another way of doing it. let me explain it. >> chris: i'm asking you. do you think if we told the pakistanis that they would have kept our secret? >> go by history. did they help us arrest 15 other vicious criminals and deliver them, the people responsible for the bombing of 1993? they helped capture them and bring them to us. khalid sheikh mohammed, they helped us capture him. why are we having trouble with the government? why are we stirring up a civil war in pakistan? it's because we have been bombing them. this emphasizes so clearly when i'm talking about my foreign policy. i'm saying this when you bomb a country, you violate their security, national security and sovereignty. we're doing that.
at the same time, we are giving them billions of dollars and you wonder why the government gets in trouble with their people. so i would say that why didn't we do it like we did with george bush? he did it and he used the pakistani government. we arrested them -- >> chris: we've got a minute left and i've got to ask you, i want to ask you one more question in this regard, sir. some of your biggest supporters are from the tea party. justin phillips the head of the tea party nation says you are flat wrong about warning the pakistanis first and getting their permission. he said this -- "if there is any doubt ron paul should not etch get near the oval office, even on a tour of the white house, he has just revealed it." that is from the tea party. >> if you use him as spokesman for the tea party, then he is a johnny-come-lately, he doesn't have the vaguest idea about the people who rally around me and what the young people are thinking, the people from 18 to 25. they're sick of this. they're sick of this spending they want someone to stand up and say no to spending, no to
foreign policy, yes to liberty and yes to the constitution. when we have that, we will have reforms and we will have our true revolution that we need. >> chris: congressman paul, we want to thank you so much for coming in today. good luck on the campaign trail. please come back, sir. >> you're welcome. >> chris: up next, two senate leaders debate what to do about the nation's debt, gas prices and immigration. stay tuned. we're america's natural gas. and here's what we did today in homes all across america:
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>> chris: congress' plate is full of tough issues and getting fuller. joining us now, the senate number two leaders from both parties. from springfield, illinois, democrat dick durbin, and from phoenix, republican jon kyl. senator kyl, you are a member of the bipartisan congressional group that is meeting with vice president biden trying to work out raising the debt limit, cutting the deficit. have you made any real progress yet, sir? >> we focused right now on things we agree on. there are some things but it's pretty small ball compared to the overall job that we're going to have to do. we're talking maybe about optimistically a couple hundred billion dollars when there is probably $2 trillion in savings we've got to achieve in order to really get a handle on the out-of-control spending. >> chris: senator durbin, republicans laid down some conditions this week for voting to raise the debt limit. speaker john boehner said that whatever the size that you increase the debt limit, you have to cut spending even more.
senator mcconnell talked about needing not only big long-term cuts but also big immediate cuts. are you on board with both of those? >> chris, let me tell you. we better be careful. this debt ceiling is a critical decision. it's about the reputation of the united united states and the economy. if we play games with it, if we play politics with it and default on the national debt, we could plunge the country back in a recession with deeper unemployment. nobody wants the see that happen. so we better take care as politicians when we set up all the scenarios. i believe that we need to address our budget deficit responsibly, put everything on the table. and move us toward a time when we are less dependent on borrowing money from china and other nations to fund our government. >> chris: you didn't quite answer the question, though. which is can you live with these conditions the republicans are putting on it? especially the idea however much you raise the debt limit, you have to cut spending even
more. >> i think we do have to cut spending. we also have to look at revenue and the entitlement programs. it didn't understand senator mcconnell's statement he made. he said he didn't agree with the paul ryan and john boehner's approach to medicare. but he wants us to cut medicare benefits and address eligibility. i want to hear more. i don't want to privatize medicare more than i want to privatize social security. there are ways to reform the systems responsibly. i'm in favor of that. >> chris: senator kyl, you know, i think a lot of people are looking to see is there going to be give from both sides, which i think most outside observers would think there is going to have to be to get a deal. we do have a divided government. question: is there a single tax of any significance you would be willing to raise as part of a deal? >> no. in terms of tax rates, republicans agree with the president that we need tax reform in order to eliminate loopholes loopholes so that we can reduce rates. you don't want to raise tax
rates to try to raise revenues. that simply relieves the burden from congress to affect the spending, savings, that we need to do. puts the burden back on the taxpayers again. when i talked about a couple hundred trillion dollars in savings, that's the down payment. over ten years, we'll have to do probably double that, if not more. in order to get back to the historic level of spending that we've had in the country of a little bit over 20%. paul ryan budget gets us under 20% of g.d.p. over ten years. the obama budget keeps us at levels above 23% of g.d.p. it's about 25% right now. spending is the problem. not revenue so no, we will not agree to raise tax rates in order to generate revenues to prevent us from making the savings that we need to achieve. >> chris: senator durbin, let me ask you a flip of the same question. is there a single social program -- social spending program -- of significance that you are willing to eliminate as part of the deal?
>> elimination is not necessary for the critical programs, but reform is necessary. i just listened very carefully to what jon kyl said. and i believe he has set the stage for us to enter into a meaningful conversation. and it those be a conversation where democrats are prepared to talk about the future of major entitlement programs, reform that is not going to deny the basic protections, which we put in the programs. but acknowledges the fact that we have serious economic problems ahead of us. if we don't have some reform in both medicare and social security. >> chris: gentlemen, let me turn to another subject. senator kyl, president obama announced this weekend that he wants to increase domestic oil production both in alaska and in the gulf of mexico. meanwhile, at a time of record profits, democrats want to eliminate $21 billion in tax breaks for the big oil companies over the next decade. what do you think of both of those ideas? >> i haven't seen the
granularity on the president's announcement about increasing our exploration, but that is the key. more production of domestic resources so we don't have to be so reliant on foreign sources of our oil and gas. we can do that in the gulf of mexico, off the coast of virginia for example, alaska. the republican legislation actually requires the president to extent these leases and to make decisions within a reasonable period of time. like 60 days, for example. or if they are going to deny drilling permits, explain in writing why not so they can be appealed. what the democrat legislation does will not reduce gas prices one dime. in fact, the congressional research service notes it will increase the cost of gas at the pump and make us more reliant on foreign sources of oil. i think we do need to increase production. that is the way to get gas prices down. >> chris: senator durbin, i would like you briefly to respond to what senator kyl said and particularly his point at the end about focusing on the tax breaks. we are talking about
$2 billion a year with a deficit of $1.5 trillion a year. the fact is all the political realists would say there is no chance you will be able to get it through congress anyway. i understand it's good politics but why focus on tax breaks for the oil companies? >> i would say this. some critics of president obama said he threw in his cards with his announcement on saturday. i think it was a call on a raise. he has said let's go forward with permits and exploration in safe and responsible manner. even at the end of it you can get up every morning and shout "drill, baby, drill" and do it again at night. we still have 2% of the world's oil reserve and we use 25% of the world's oil production each year. we can't drill our way out of it. i believe the president believes and i share this belief, if we cannot agree on a bipartisan basis to take the $4 billion annual subsidy that we are giving to the most profitable companies, oil companies in america and dedicate it to deficit
reduction, we'll never have a serious conversation about reducing the deficit. bringing the deficit down by $21 billion over ten years at the expense of oil companies making billions of dollars in profits off of families and small businesses ought to be an agreeable bipartisan starting point. >> chris: gentlemen, we are running out of time. i want to get into one last subject. senator kyl, president obama went to the texas boarder with mexico this week to talk about immigration and he said they have made real progress on enforcing the border. he noted that the border patrol doubled from 10,000 agents in 2004 to more than 20,000 last year. he noted the number of deportations rizzen from 358,000 in 2008 to 392,000 last year. but he said republicans keep moving the goalposts. >> maybe they'll need a moat. maybe they'll want alligators in the moat. they'll never be satisfied. >> chris: question: why not
support comprehensive immigration? yes, more border security, but in addition finding a way to deal with the 11 million illegals who are already here? >> chris, first of all, that kind of mocking, demagoguery does not help to get a bipartisan solution. maybe the president forgets that i was one of the authors with ted kennedy and a couple of other senators of the legislation that he helped to kill that would have provided comprehensive immigration reform about five years ago. >> chris: let me ask the question, sir. senator kyl, would you support that bill today? >> not today i wouldn't. it's clear that the effort to secure the border was never a realistic effort. that is to say when the president talks about the progress that has been made, it's because of legislation that i introduced to increase the number of border patrol and provide technology and fencing on the border. when the president suggests that is enough, we have been trying to tell him for a long time, come to the boarder in arizona and you will see it's not enough. there is still some to go.
if the president says we're done, we are not going to do anymore, we will never stop illegal immigration in the country so we can then get on to solving the problems of those here illegally. let me make a quick point, chris. >> chris: we're running out of time. >> real quickly. >> chris: okay. real quick. >> good. the analogy is this, you have every faucet in your house on, your tub is overflowing, the sinks is overflowing, what do you do first? get towels and sop up the water or turn off the faucets? we have to turn off the faucet of illegal immigration and then we can turn to the other issues. >> chris: senator durbin, we have less than a minute left. the g.a.o. says -- g.a.o., a nonpartisan organization in the government -- that the government that we have only 44% of the border is under our operational control. there is no chance that you are going to get immigration reform, comprehensive immigration reform through this congress. isn't this really about trying to mobilize the hispanic vote for 2012? >> no. here is the offer i make to jon kyl and john mccain.
i will sit down with you, i will work with you to have border security beyond what the president has done. i think we have done an enormous, made enormous investment there. i will go further to make sure that our border is safe, and to stop as much as humanly possible illegal immigration. if you will join with us, in comprehensive immigration reform, so that we can identify those living in this country, we can give the children under the dream act an opportunity to have a good life in this country, and we can finally fix this broken system in good faith, let's put both on the table and agree to get it done before the end of the two years. >> chris: real quickly, 15 seconds. senator kyl, willing to sit down with senator durbin on that? >> senator durbin and i sat down before to talk about things and i'm very happy to do it on this very important issue. but i will say, we have to secure the boarder to achieve the other results as well. thank you, dick. i'll be happy to sit down. you know we can sit down together on these things.
>> chris: we have diplomacy. thank you for coming in and talking with us today. gentlemen, please come back. >> thank you. >> you bet. >> chris: up next, two are in. one is out. there is a definite maybe. the sunday panel tries to make sense of whether republican presidential field stands now when we come right back. specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
i in fact did what i believe was right for the people of my state. >> chris: mitt romney this week refusing to disavow the healthcare plan. he signed in to law in massachusetts. even as he proposes a very different plan for the nation in 2012. it's time now for our sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. nina easton, "fortune" magazine. kim strassel of the "wall street journal." and mort zuckerman, publisher of "new york daily news." brit, did governor romney do anything this week to solve his problem with republicans who think that romney-care is way too close to obamacare? >> no. when he said that about, you know, he couldn't repudiate the program or disavow it because it wouldn't be honest, he also could have said because it's true that he couldn't disavow that and flip his position on it because he's already flipped on several issues and has something of a reputation -- he flipped on abortion, flipped arguably on gun
control. critics of his will list others that could be seen as flip-flops. i don't think he could do it. he was too far out on this limb for too long to saw the thing off. he did the best he could. but conceptual similarities between what we call "obamacare" and program that he guided in to law in massachusetts are too clear, too obvious for everyone. i think it remains around his neck as a millstone. >> chris: nina, the "wall street journal" had an editorial this week that certainly roasted mitt romney. let's put it up on the screen. the debate over obamacare and the larger entitlement state may be the central question of the 2012 election. on that question, mr. romney is compromiseed and not credible." they weren't persuaded by his speech. >> yeah, kimberly. you'll have to address that. >> chris: she will. don't worry. >> i have to do my requisite, my husband is an obama -- excuse me. romney advisor. when i look at this issue with
romney, and i said this before and i'll say it again. elections are about choices. the primary election is about a choice. i think healthcare is a problem for romney and will remain a problem for him. if you look at someone like mitch daniels who is the flavor of the month, there are problems with him. criticized fiscal conservative for blowing the budget, as they say, for blowing the budget under george bush. that is a criticism for him. he has problems as well. tim pawlenty supporting cap-and-trade and so forth. i would say with all the hand-wringing about the republican field right now, another piece of news happened this week, which was the unemployment rate kicked up to 9% again. congressional budget office says that on election day, 8.2% will be the unemployment rate. we haven't had a president re-elected with unemployment rate that high since franklin roosevelt. the last three booted out with
unemployment in the mid-7.0s were gerald ford, jimmy carter and george h.w. bush. this is important for republicans to keep this in mind. >> chris: kimberly, you are happily employed at the "wall street journal," we should note is owned by our parent company, the parent company of fox news as well. to get to nina's point, can republicans get over romney and his healthcare plan? and with huckabee out, is he now the best chance that republicans have to beat barack obama? >> i don't think they can get over it. you step back and this debate that we're having this year in 2012 -- or we are going to have in the election is over the role of government, the size and involvement in people's life. healthcare is central to that. romney carrie -- romney-care is the prototype to the president's healthcare plan. romney's obligation this week to come out and say that was a mistake. we were out there. maybe it was the beginning of
healthcare debate. we tried to do some things and it didn't work out this way. this is my new plan and we're going forward and why the other one didn't work. he didn't do that. people are saying we don't want debate over minor bureaucratic details over why your plan is different than the president's. we want a leader to say here is what the philosophical principles are and we're going ahead. he didn't do that. that is why people are looking to mitch daniels and are a little interested with him. i disagree. i think in terms of all the candidates out there, he probably has fewer, less of some of the baggage. he doesn't have the healthcare issue that romney has. he doesn't necessarily have some of the issues that newt gingrich does with ethanol or climate change. >> chris: mort? >> well, i think as brit says, i think romney does have a problem, shall we say the variation in his views on various issues. i don't think he has gotten over that problem. i can understand why he couldn't possibly say he was going to renounce the signature piece of legislation while he was governor, when i was different issues with that.
had hopedlar, it didn't save for. you had the individual mandate that was so controversial in obama's program. but i think he is a serious candidate. he is a talented man. he was an effective governor in massachusetts. but he does have this tendency to go from one state to another. and have different views, the one i remember the best was on fuel efficiency, which he supported in massachusetts. shall we say walked away from when he got to michigan. i don't know why when he got to michigan, but these are things he has to find a way to deal with. it's too early to think he is the only viable candidate. we have to see primary, terrific candidates in the republican party like john huntsman who is just unknown figure at this point. when he gets a chance to be exposed to the american public, i think he will do very well. >> chris: i have a couple of minutes left and i want to go to a new subject. brit, on this. a new candidate. there was a big speech this week by daniels of indiana,
not governor mitch daniels. but his wife, cheri daniels who spoke to the party. it turns out -- i must say, i didn't know this. she divorced her husband back in the '90s, left him with their four daughters to marry someone else and remarried him three years later. here is what she had to say about the process of deciding whether her husband will run for president. >> i don't think it can be done without everybody's support. this is something we're talking about a lot. our whole family is involved. of course, they'll continue to be involved. >> chris: what do you make of the daniels soap opera? >> he may be undecided. his sense of himself is not how high of the office he holds. if he gets in, he will be a fierce competitor, but i'm not sure the decision is yet made. i do think that the speech made by his wife, so conspicuously with people
believing that she may be resisting his running is perhaps a sign that she's behind him. but i think, you know, we don't know yet. i'm not sure he knows yet. >> do you think this soap opera of their marriage on and off, do you think it matters? >> i think a lot of people would say if they got back together and their marriage is now strong, that is a good thing. so that, you know, the soap opera is interesting but in the end, they seem to be happily re-married. >> chris: i was going to say he says it's a love story with a happy ending. all right. we have to take a break here. when we come back, new developments in the debate in washington over what to do about the nation's debt. the panel tackles that after this quick break.
the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in the debt limit that the president has given. we're not talk about billions here. we should be talking about cuts in trillions. >> let's not lay down the gauntlet. let's not draw a line in the sand. >> chris: republican house speaker john boehner and democrat senate leader harry reid making it clear they have a long way to go before solving the debt ceiling stalemate. we're back now with the panel. mort, you have a vantage point from new york that none of the rest of us have. how does wall street view the continuing flailing around about the debt limit and what do they think of these mostly freshmen or younger republicans in the house who are saying, you know, we cannot raise the debt limit and everything will be just fine? >> well, i think the financial world is absolutely concerned about the debt limit. you have seen where standard & poor's issued a credit warning on the credit of the united states. the i.m.f. really came out publicly and said that we do not have a credible plan to
deal with the deficit. you have owner of -- or the leader of the most important financial service firm in the world managing trillions of dollars of debt money. a company called pimco led by bill gross, a famous man in the world of fixed income security. he has not only sold all of his u.s. securities but he is selling them short on top of that. you have a lot of indications that something might happen if we don't do anything about it. everybody believes we are running out of gas. we have been running on empty tank fiscally for a decade now. we have to address the problem, because sooner or later it is going to blow up in our faces. nobody knows exactly when. but this is not a saga we can just continue going as if we can run up and continue the debt. >> mort has got it absolutely right. it's not wall street is concerned over the specific vote of raising the debt limit they were concerned about the debt. >> exactly. >> this effort by republicans to try to use the leverage provided by certain urgency involved in the raising of the
debt limit, i think is probably going to be broadly supported by the public. it may be the only way to get anything big done at a time in divided government, because it creates a powerful incentive to do something. my sense is republicans ought to hold out for a lot and let it go down to the wire. first of all, the idea we're going to default on the obligations is nonsense. there is plenty of tax money coming in that would cover the debt payments we need to make. no it -- now it would mean a lot of the rest of the government would go unfunded and that would be regrettable, perhaps. but there is no way we ever need to default on our debt. no way we ever need to default on our debt. this is scare tactic from the administration. they're scared of not the default on the debt but they're scared of the spending cuts they might have to make to get the debt limit raised. >> chris: as i discussed with the two senators, republicans, though, are putting new conditions on what they will have to have to agree to increase the debt limit. you heard john boehner talking
about we need trillions in cuts and we need more in cuts than how much we raise the debt limit. mcconnell is talking about immediate cuts as well as long-term cuts. are we getting closer to a deal or further away? >> i thought senator kyl saying, "small ball" in your interview was not a good sign. >> chris: he was talking about the biden discussion, a couple of hundred billion dollars. >> that was not a good sign. on the other hand, in the senate there is that proposed by senator corker and senator mccaskill, a democrat, to reduce spending from 25% of g.d.p., 24% of g.d.p., down, glide path down to 20%. what that buys in to is the idea that the problem is a spending problem. it's not a revenue problem. and there are democrats witness that, claire mccaskill, who agree with that. she is under attack now by moveon.org, by the left. it will be a tough road for those kind of democrats to make that case. i have don't think they are going to have the backing of the administration on that
one. >> i have to argue we got great clarity this week. john boehner came out and gave a speech where we referred to this and he said we'll go dollar for dollar with you guys. you know, you want a $300 billion increase in the debt limit? we want $300 billion in spending cuts somewhere. so the ball is in your court. that actually frames this issue. the other thing he did is talk about the mechanism of this. which is important. what the white house has been saying is we want a debt cap. if you go above the debt, a certain level, automatic new tax increases come in. that is like saying we can't help ourselves, we spend too much. you, the public, pay. instead boehner said no, what we are going to do is having spending caps. we go above the spending level, we, congress, has to cut somewhere else. that reframes the issue and says no new taxes. that has been important as well, too. because it would be deadly for the economy. >> chris: let me bring in mort again. you are the voice, in this group at least, of the financial community in new york. how do they view all of this? do they buy this solely to the republican plan? is it that they want to see a
compromise? how do they view all the flailing around? >> look, with deep suspicion without question, they are all nervous about this. everybody understands that you have to have a bipartisan effort so neither party gets totally blamed. if you are going to do enough to make a difference to the fiscal imbalances in this country. that is what we don't see -- you have a dysfunctional government. it's not working on many, many levels. that is what is seen in the financial world, not only in new york, but all around the world. and this is something that is going to undermine the ability of the united states to do a lot of things at once. the problem is we do not have the kind of leadership in washington. what is it that harry truman said? we need a leader to tell the american people what they don't want to do and have them like it when they do it. somebody has to be that kind of a leader. these people need that kind of leadership to get this thing done on a bipartisan basis. >> chris: brit, we also had a report on friday from the trustees for the social security and medicare trust funds that both of those trust
funds are running out of money faster than had been believed. partly because of the recession. partly because we obviously have the baby boomers starting to take, to need the services. and that the trust fund for the main trust fund for medicare will run out five years sooner. what does do it to this? >> i think it makes it encouraging, then, to hear senator durbin say we have to get in entitlement and reform the entitlement programs. i think that is going to have to come out of this at some point. and i think this adds new urgency to that. i might add another point to this. senator kyl, when they start talk about taxes and revenues and saying we don't have a revenue problem, that's wrong. we do have a revenue problem. but the reason for is it that the economy is growing so sluggishly. a blooming economy produces a gusher of tax receipts with tax rates remaining as low as they are now or no higher. the problem with trying to raise revenue by raising tax rates at a time of a weak economy is it's likely to prevent the growth you need to really get any.
you may never get the money. we need both. we need more revenues from growth. and we need to cut the cost of the programs. >> chris: so how do you see this playing out? >> i would add on the tax side, it's not that taxes shouldn't be addressed. we need tax reform. so what you saw this week was going after a piece of, you know -- it's politically viable for the democrats to go after the oil executives, for example. okay. plug those tax benefits that they're getting and reduce rates. that will help start growth. you do have to address tax reform. that has to be part of this as well. >> chris: the republicans are saying we are never going to get tax reform before the debt deal has to be met. >> but the debt deal becomes a false, you know, it becomes a false deadline. when, in fact, they need to do a bigger -- they need to do a bigger deal. >> chris: continue that point. thank you, panel. see you next week. and this is why they invented "pam -- "panel plus."
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>> chris: pete agreed -- >> chris: please keep your comments coming. you can find us at foxnewssunday.com. now a quick program note. next week, our "2012: one on one" series continues when we sit down with potential presidential candidate, businessman herman cain. that is it for today. have a great week. we'll see you next "fox news sunday." captioned by closed captioning services, inc